Taking Your Medication Regularly is Essential to Controlling Your Seizures

Taking seizure medications regularly, and as recommended by your doctor, is vitally important! It gives you the best chance to achieve the goals of epilepsy therapy: no seizures and no side effects. On the flip side, noncompliance with seizure medicines can have significant and possibly disastrous consequences.

Taking medicines regularly is easiest when you know about epilepsy, treatment, and how to manage your seizures and medications. Managing medicines isn’t easy, but it certainly can be done!  Think of it as a team approach involving your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, counselor, family and friends, and of course YOU. You are the captain of the team, because only you can decide if you are going to take the medicine. Only you can work together with the team to find ways to manage your meds best.

Here’s a few points about why adherence is so important.

  • You need to follow the doctor's directions that could be confusing or complex.  
  • Seizure medicines must be taken each and every day as prescribed. If the right amount is not taken at the right time, the medicine may not be able to prevent seizures, or might cause unwanted side effects.
  • If the first medicine doesn’t work, others may be more successful.
  • Finding the right medicine at the right dose taken at the right time(s) of the day requires teamwork.
  • Any medication change recommended by the doctor is based on the assumption that the person has been taking the medicine the way it was intended. If this isn’t true, then the change may not work or may be the wrong thing to do!

Here are some thoughts by Joyce Cramer, a former president of the Epilepsy Therapy Project, that emphasizes the importance of medication compliance:  The Titanic Impact of Medication Compliance on Epilepsy,

Authored by: Robert F. Fisher, MD, PhD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN | Joseph I. Sirven, MD on 8/2013
Reviewed by: Joseph I. Sirven, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN on 3/2014
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